Buried in the Backyard (2018–…): Season 2, Episode 5 - Guilt or Innocence - full transcript

When the body parts of two missing teens are found in a backyard cornfield, detectives uncover dark family secrets to track their suspect.

- [Narrator] In September
1983, a contractor

makes a gruesome discovery
in a Milwaukee backyard.

(ominous music)

- It was determined to be a

full human body.

- It was complete shock.

Disgust, terror.

People were just scared.

- [Narrator] The ghastly
remains send investigators

chasing a shocking truth.

(intense music)

- We learned about this
party that had happened.

- There was rumors,
lots of rumors.

- I was suspicious of him

because he was trying to
get smart with my daughter.

- [Narrator] And have a
community running scared.

(intense music)

- The man on the other
end of the line said

I want to confess to a murder.

- You may think you know your
neighbors, but you never know

what's going on
in their backyard.

(intense music)

(eerie music)

- [Narrator] It's after
dark on a Tuesday night.

Summer is fading fast,
and a touch of fall

hangs in the Milwaukee air.

In this typically quiet
South Side neighborhood,

the sound of a siren
beckons Carol Tousignant

to her living room window.

- We were looking
out the window,

and a whole bunch of
cops, squads by the house.

- [Narrator] Curious
about the commotion,

Carol walks across the street.

- All the news
reporters are there.

There was a lot of people there

to see what's going on.

It was scary.

- We heard reports that there
was a death investigation.

The newsroom reacted immediately
sending a crew out there,

not knowing what
it would turn into.

They started talking
to neighbors,

trying to talk to
police who at that point

aren't ready to release
any information,

but the reporters
are asking people

what they think is going on.

There were rumors right away

that someone's remains were
found buried in the backyard.

- In the front yard,
they had a bag.

- And then there were
rumors pretty much

immediately after that
that it was a young female.

- I thought oh my god.

I was down to my knees.

I knew right away
that was my daughter.

(ominous music)

- [Narrator] At the
local middle school,

students are happily
shuffling to the cafeteria.

13 year old Carrie
Jopek meets up with

one of her friends,
Margie, in the hall.

- We went shopping
the night before,

and we bought the same outfit.

Same pants, same shirt,
and couldn't wait

to wear 'em the
next day to school,

and the next morning
we went to school,

she was crying and she
said she got suspended

because she punched
one of the boys

that threw paint on her shirt

and she was so upset.

If somebody messed with her,
she would stand up for herself.

- [Narrator] The school
doesn't take kindly

to Carrie's behavior.

And she finds
herself in hot water.

- The school called saying that

Carrie was suspended
for three days.

I said okay why don't
you send her home?

She's 131/2 years old.

She doesn't need
her ma to take her

by the hand and take her home.

- [Narrator] The school
is a short block away.

Carrie should be home
in no time at all.

- [Carol] One o'clock, two
o'clock, three o'clock.

She still didn't come home,

so we went looking out
the window for her.

And no Carrie.

- [Narrator] As the hours
pass, Carol's imagination

starts to go wild.

Where on earth could Carrie be?

- I was wondering why
she didn't come home,

and I was getting worried
so I called the police.

- Carol told us that she
had not heard from her

since she was suspended
and was concerned.

- [Carol] And they asked
me what she was wearing,

how old she was.

- Carrie was 13 years of age,

about five foot
three, 96 pounds.

She was wearing a
white cloth jacket,

a white top, brown corduroy
jeans and white shoes

and she was holding a clutch
purse when she went missing.

(crickets chirping)

- [Narrator] Carrie
is headstrong,

but always lets her mom know

where she is, and when
she's coming home.

- I knew she wouldn't run away.

I knew that.

She could be mad at me,
but she always came home.

I could hardly sleep

'cause I kept on
looking outside.

Where is she, where is she?

I was going stir crazy!

(ominous music)

- [Narrator] The
following day, when Carrie

still hasn't come home, her
mom is growing desperate

for investigators
to do something.

- Once we started
interviewing her friends

we learned about this
gathering or party

that had happened at
the Mandt residence.

The Mandt family is
a family that lived

across the street
from the Jopek family.

Robin Mandt and Carrie
Jopek were friends.

Carrie was there the day
of her disappearance.

- [Narrator] Where did Carrie
disappear to after the party?

- The officers interviewed
her close friends

regarding her whereabouts,
and none of her friends

had any information.

- There were so many
different things

going through my head,
and I had no idea.

I was just always thinking

that she was safe
and she'd come home.

(ominous music)

- [Narrator] Carol is going
out of her mind with worry.

Has her daughter been abducted

from the safety of
their neighborhood?

- So her sister Maggie
and I end up making flyers

and going door to door.

You stop people down the street,

have you seen this girl,
have you seen this girl?


- Carol got us all together

and we would search
the neighborhood,

and there was probably 30 people
with us walking everywhere

asking people have
they seen her?

- [Narrator] Hearts are heavy
all through this neighborhood.

And no one feels
the emotional toll

more than Carrie's
sister, Maggie.

- Maggie and I searched
every day after school

until Maggie couldn't
take it no more.

Maggie said Mom I can't do this.

It's 10 o'clock at night and
we're still looking for her.

- The historic Mitchell
Street neighborhood

is a densely residential area,

but with some really
busy commercial strips.

At the time that
Carrie disappeared,

it was considered a safe area.

A lot of people
didn't think it was

a very serious
situation at first.

They thought that she may
have just ran away from home.

They didn't really suspect
foul play at the time.

- [Narrator] Carol is
on a mother's mission.

- I went to Milwaukee Journal.

I said can you put
Carrie's picture in there

saying that she's been missing?

(somber music)

- [Narrator]
Desperate for answers,

she calls on Heaven
itself for help.

- I prayed to God to find her.

And I'm glad I had
my faith in Jesus,

'cause if I didn't I think I
would've been in the nuthouse.

- We couldn't give
her an answer.

As a parent myself,
I couldn't imagine

what Carol was going through.

- [Narrator] The lack of
answers is unbearable.

Then suddenly, there
are sightings of Carrie.

- Rumors started saying that
they saw her in California

and they saw her in
other neighborhoods

and that made us have
hope and just thought

she was too afraid to
go home and was scared

because she got suspended.

- There were calls
like I think I

might've seen her in a car.

I think I might've seen
her on this corner.

She could have easily
met up with an older man

who could have took
her to another state

or to another area of town.

The police were dispatched.

Carrie was just never found.

- [Narrator] Then weeks
into the investigation,

like a bolt from the blue,

Carol is sure she
sees her daughter

wandering down the street.

(intense music)

- I see Carrie, and
I was kinda shocked.

Happy, and I yelled her name.

- Carrie!
- And all the sudden she ran.

(intense music)

- I've heard about people

coming back to the
scene of the crime.

He began to freak out,
he ran inside the house

and started to throw up.

- It's just out of a nightmare.

- Right away I thought
this was gonna be it.

We're gonna find out now.

(eerie music)

several agonizing
weeks searching for her

13 year old missing
daughter, Carrie

when she suddenly
thinks she sees Carrie

in her South Milwaukee

Her broken heart skips a beat.

(intense music)

- Carrie!

- She ran away from me,
and why would she run away

unless she was afraid.

Then I was crying
when I went home,

'cause I told everybody
I think I saw Carrie

and she ran away from me.

(emotional music)

- [Narrator] Were Carol's
eyes deceiving her?

- The police did follow
up on several sightings

of Carrie in the neighborhood,

and a chunk of all those
sightings turned out

to either be not
Carrie or somebody else

that looked just like Carrie.

- In the beginning, when
Carrie went missing,

the hopes were very
high finding her,

but leads, they dry up.

It's frustrating.

(emotional music)

- [Narrator] Seasons
change, and a year passes.

Without any leads, investigators
have nothing to go on,

and Carrie's case
gets tucked in a shelf

with dozens of others.

- So the case now has gone cold,

and you'd like to give the
family positive information

and new leads.

However, we didn't
have anything.

- [Narrator] The
world keeps turning,

but Carol is
paralyzed with fear.

- I had a feeling
that she was dead,

but I didn't want
to think of it.

- I missed Carrie a lot, and
just never having her around,

there was a void.

I really missed her.

- Just awful not knowing.

It was just loneliness
without her.

That's my firstborn.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] For this lost
mom, time has stopped.

18 months pass
with no new leads,

and just when the case
is close to going cold,

a call comes in that
changes everything.

- On September 2nd,
1983, we got a call

from the Mandt house.

A contractor who had
removed a back porch.

When he started to dig,

the shovel hit something
hard like a rock,

but he noticed human
hair on the shovel.

(intense music)

There was a body
underneath the porch.

(ominous music)

(sirens wail)

- [Narrator] The
commotion later that night

calls Carol Tousignant
across the street

to the home of the Mandt family.

- I said oh my god.

I asked Carrie's
friend, Robin Mandt.

What was she wearing?

Robin said she was
wearing a winter coat.

When Carrie went missing,
that's what she was wearing,

and I said that's Carrie.

(intense music)

- [Narrator] Could it really be?

Carol frantically
tries to get closer.

- And then the officer
says, what are you doing?

And then Robin says well,

her daughter's been
missing for 171/2 months.

She thinks that's her daughter.

(somber music)

The officer said why
don't you go home

and we will

talk to you later?

- [Narrator] Her stomach in
knots and her heart in pieces,

Carol stumbles home.

- I prayed to God, I
wanted Carrie to be alive.

I really want her to be alive.

(somber music)

- The body was recovered
in a shallow grave.

The grave was about
five inches deep.

It was partially decomposed.

It was in a mummification state.

(ominous music)

- [Narrator] The
body is transported

to the coroner's office.

(somber music)

As word spreads quickly
about the gruesome discovery.

- This is a tight knit
little neighborhood.

Homes right alongside each
other, so the fact that

someone's body was found
buried in the backyard

just is shocking and
unbelievable to them.

The reporters are asking people

what they think is going on,

and that's when they
started learning

about this kind of
immediate speculation

that it was Carrie's
body that was found.

- There was an ice cream
place down by our house,

and there was a paper
sitting on the counter,

and my mom was
reading the story.

When she read the outfit
that the person was found in,

I said Mom, that's Carrie.

(emotional music)

Yeah I mean, 'cause we
have that same outfit.

(emotional music)

- [Narrator] After
four excruciating days,

Carol receives word
from detectives

that no parent should
ever have to hear.

Carrie's body has been
identified by dental records.

(eerie music)

- They took me to the morgue.

Everything was there.

Her shoes,

her pants.

And I picked up her jacket,

and there was Carrie's jacket,

and that really stunk.

It was sad to see
her stuff there.

You know for sure

that was your daughter

that was dead, you know?

It was just like,

a relief that we found her

and we don't have to worry
about looking for her anymore,

and that she's resting,
she's in God's hands.

It was just


- [Narrator] Carol can't fathom

who would kill her little girl.

(ominous music)

- An autopsy was
conducted on Carrie.

The C1 vertebrae was
partially fractured.

They considered that injury
almost like a whiplash injury.

There was also a fracture to
the left side of her skull,

and they determined that to
be either accidental by fall,

or it could be done
purposefully or a homicide.

- [Narrator] One
thing is certain.

Somebody buried Carrie's
body in that backyard.

- One of the things
that was disturbing

was just this pretty
young girl was killed

and simply disposed,
buried in this backyard,

but who did it?

- I cried and

I couldn't believe it,

and the shocking part
was it was the home

across the street from
her house the whole time.

(eerie music)

- The medical examiner did
not rule this case a homicide.

They ruled it as undetermined.

What we thought right
away when she was found

was because of the
nature of the wounds,

and also somebody
buried that body,

whether it was an
accidental fall

or if it was some type of
homicide investigation.

- [Narrator] The
crime is unsettling,

and detectives want
justice for Carrie Jopek

and her family.

They begin their investigation

at the very place
Carrie was last seen,

and where her body was buried.

The home of the Mandt family.

- We knew the
Mandts pretty well.

Carrie and Robin
were good friends.

- There was also an older
brother named John Mandt.

He was a few years older
than both Carrie and Robin.

Through the
investigation we learned

that John Mandt was kind of

like the neighborhood

There was always something
negative going on

with him, and just also

got into some petty thefts

and was always in
trouble with the law.

- [Narrator] The day
Carrie disappeared,

she was seen at a party
at Robin and John's house.

- The party consisted
of high school kids

and kids that were just
out of high school.

- Almost like an
invite for teenagers

that wanted to skip school

to come to John Mandt's house.

- There was talk of drinking.

Also talk of
marijuana being used.

(ominous music)

Because John Mandt was
the person pointed out

in the neighborhood
as the troublemaker,

now that the body was
found at the Mandt house,

everybody in the neighborhood

believed that John
Mandt was involved.

(ominous music)

- [Narrator] There's
another provocative detail

that makes John Mandt
look suspicious.

- When the contractor
discovered the remains,

he was very shocked.

He looked over his
shoulder and saw John Mandt

standing behind him, and that
even made him more shocked.

John's reaction
right at that moment

was he began to freak out.

He ran inside the house,
and started to throw up.

- [Narrator] Is John sick
with sadness and shock,

or is it something
else far more sinister?

- There's a lot of suspicions.

There were several
different factors

that made John a suspect.

(intense music)

(eerie music)

- [Narrator] After
missing for 18 months,

Carrie Jopek has been
found savagely buried

in the backyard across the
street from her own home.

Now, investigators are eyeing

her teenage
neighbor, John Mandt.

(intense music)

- He was very shooken up.

He started throwing
up all over the house.

In fact he was so ill that
when the police had come,

he wasn't even
interviewed that day

regarding the body
in the backyard.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] Just days
into their investigation,

detectives dig into
their newest lead

and uncover some potentially
damning information.

- We have learned
through the investigation

that John Mandt had come
on to Carrie in the past,

and made some remarks to
Carrie that he liked her.

- One time Carrie
was at Robin's house,

and she said that Johnny was
trying to fool around with her,

going up and down her legs.

I was just afraid that he
would hurt her, you know?

- When you're talking
about a 13 year old girl

and an 18 year old
or 19 year old man,

there's a lot of suspicions.

- I was suspicious of him,

because he was trying to
get smart with my daughter.

(eerie music)

- Just a few days after
the body was found,

we brought John
down to the station

and we interviewed John
regarding the death of Carrie.

John's demeanor was pretty calm.

He stated that he knew of
Carrie from the neighborhood,

and that Carrie was
friends with his sister,

and that he had nothing to do

with her disappearance or death.

Regarding the party at
the Mandt residence,

he denied knowing that
there was a party.

So there were several
different factors

that made John a suspect.

- [Narrator] If John's
conscience is clean,

why did he get sick after
Carrie's body was discovered?

- John stated that finding
a body in his backyard

is what made him
physically ill and shocked.

When John was asked how the
body was buried in his backyard,

John stated he had no clue.

Once John was pushed
a little bit harder,

he requested a
lawyer and we had to

stop the interview at that time.

That was the end.

Deep down, we had suspicion
that John was involved,

but we really had no
evidence of anything else

that we could prove
that John was involved.

- He claimed to
not know anything,

and he walked free.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] A few days
later, Carol is finally able

to lay her precious
girl to rest.

- The funeral was
mixed emotions.

Sad, and happy
that she was found

and she's in a
final resting place,

and she's in God's hands.

- Carrie was just a
wonderful, caring person.

Always looking out for
everybody else, and...


- [Narrator] Carrie was
born with a feisty spirit.

- Yeah she was a spitfire.

She was.

Since she was a little girl,

she wanted to do
things on her own.

She was very independent.

- [Narrator] She was as sweet
as she was strong willed.

- Carrie was so much fun.

Very outgoing,
bubbly, and smart.

She loved to sing.

She'd be so happy.

She was also very caring.

- She loved animals.

She wanted to be a veterinarian,

and we had a lotta
dogs, lotta cats.

She could have done
anything she wanted to.

- [Narrator] Carol can still
hear Carrie's sweet voice.

- [Carol] She always
said goodnight Mom,

see you tomorrow, I love you.

(emotional music)

At her funeral she had a
lot of friends showing up.

Robin was there,
Margaret was there.

- And we were hanging
all over each other

and just sobbing
all over each other.

- God took her for a reason.

But why, why did
she have to die?

No sense to it.

- [Narrator] In
the emotional haze,

Carol is grateful to
friends like Jose Ferreira

who come offering comfort.

- Jose Ferreira was a kid who
lived just down the street

from the Mandt residence, as
well as Carrie Jopek's house.

- He used to come to
our house to play cards.

He was like a
fixture in our house.

- [Narrator] One night
as Carol and Jose

reminisce about Carrie, Jose
makes a strange confession.

- He told me
Carrie's haunting me.

I was going why
would he say that?

- [Narrator] Is it possible
Jose knows something

about Carrie's death?

- One morning we received
a call from a neighbor,

and this neighbor stated
that he recognized

a boy from the
neighborhood kneeling

where Carrie's remains
were recovered,

and he was acting
very strangely.

Had his hands raised to the sky,

and appeared to be crying.

This boy was Jose Ferreira.

(intense music)

- I've heard about
people coming back to

the scene of the crime,

especially if they're feeling
remorse or guilt over it,

it's a way for them to
connect to the victim.

- Right away I thought
this is gonna be it.

We're gonna find out now.

(intense music)

- [Narrator] Weeks after
the horrifying discovery

of Carrie Jopek's body

found buried in a
neighbor's backyard,

investigators get a troubling
call about Jose Ferreira,

a friend of Carrie's family.

(intense music)

- A neighbor witnessed
Jose crying at the scene

just feet from the grave site.

- Why would he be doing that?

Was he the one or was he
involved with the one?

- There were rumors
and speculation that

someone knew something, whether
it was Jose, whether it was,

he knew of someone else
who knew something.

There was clearly
more to the story.

- Jose was kind of like the
weird guy in the neighborhood.

He's into witchcraft,
he liked to drink a lot.

(intense music)

- [Narrator] Is there
something far more sinister

hiding beneath Jose's exterior?

- Jose Ferreira
did have a record

with the Milwaukee
Police Department.

He had three municipal
warrants for theft.

(intense music)

- [Narrator] Could
Jose be the key

to Carrie's mysterious death?

Detectives waste little
time bringing him in.

- When Jose was brought
in for questioning,

he seemed perfectly
normal and calm.

- He said he actually
went over to the backyard

and he was thinking about Carrie

and he said it bothered him
so much, he began crying.

- He stated that he was
in a depressed mood.

He just broke up
with his girlfriend,

and he did raise
his hands to the sky

and he said why her?

- [Narrator] Jose as it
turns out, may have been

one of the last people
to see Carrie alive.

- We learned that Jose
was at the Mandt residence

with Johnny and some friends

the day that Carrie
went missing.

However, he denied
any involvement in
Carrie Jopek's death.

- [Narrator] Like John
Mandt, Jose insists

he has no idea where Carrie
disappeared to after the party.

And while he's no angel,

there's nothing to
prove he's a killer.

- [Angela] Based on
what he had given us,

there was no
evidence to hold him

regarding this investigation,

so he was let go by the
Milwaukee Police Department.

- Police didn't have
a lot to work off of.

No one was talking, and frankly
it was just a big mystery.

For pretty much every
high profile story,

newsrooms do get a
lot of phone calls.

We did get some calls, but
none of them really panned out.

And a lot of people in the
neighborhood unfortunately

were coming to
terms with the fact

that they might not
ever know what happened.

- Frankly, Carrie Jopek's
death was with us all the time,

that we weren't able to solve,

and it's very
frustrating for us,

but we're always constantly
thinking about other avenues.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] What's
frustrating for investigators

is devastating for those
who loved Carrie most.

The lack of leads or justice
for Carrie is heartbreaking.

- I'm there but she wasn't,
and part of me was gone.

She was my life.

And I lost her.

- I always regretted
not leaving with her

when she got suspended,

because we would have never
went to Robin's house.

I just didn't really think
I needed to at the time.

And that's what kills me.

(emotional music)

Nobody would've known
the future, what
would have happened,

or there's no way, so I
keep trying to tell myself

it's not my fault,
it's not my fault,

but it's the
biggest regret ever.

Was not leaving with her.

(emotional music)

- I didn't go get her,
I didn't pick her up.

But I figured that would
be kinda embarrassing

for me to go over there
and take her by the hand,

and drag her home.

Look what you did now!

You're in trouble.

Carrie really would've
been embarrassed

if I would've done that to her.

(emotional music)

- [Narrator] Carrie's
family and friends

are never free of their guilt.

As time marches on,
they long for answers.

- I was just so tired and upset.

Came home and started crying.

Who did it?


Why did they do it?

- When you don't know something,

when it's unsolved
for so long that's,

that kind of eats at you.

To not know what happened to
one of my best friends is,

that was hard all my life.

- Carrie's case
became a cold case.

As a detective, I
think it hits home

because we have
children of our own,

and we know that they
can be innocent victims.

It's hard 'cause we just
didn't have anything.

- [Narrator] Six years
later, the silence

surrounding Carrie's case
is suddenly shattered

when a new investigator
gets a most unexpected call.

- We got a big
break in the case.

Dodge Correctional Institute

called the Milwaukee
Police Department

stating that they had an inmate

that wanted to
talk to the police,

and had information regarding
Carrie Jopek's death.

(intense music)

- Any time a cold
case breaks open,

there's a sense of urgency,

especially for a
high profile case

that so many people care about,

and when there's suddenly
this unexpected announcement

it was a really big deal.

There was much
more to the story,

and the truth would come out

and there'd be
justice and closure.

(intense music)

(eerie music)

- [Narrator] Six years after
someone so grossly disposed

of 13 year old Carrie Jopek
in a neighbor's backyard,

a prison inmate comes forward

with an explosive allegation
about her mysterious death.

- So we got this call from
the Dodge Correction Institute

that Thomas Luker was an inmate,

and he wanted to talk to the
Milwaukee Police Department.

He stated he was the
ex-boyfriend of Robin Mandt,

which was John Mandt's sister,

and they had been dating
from 1983 to 1986.

And during this time,
Robin had told him

that John Mandt
had killed Carrie.

Mr. Luker stated
that she was left

in the basement for
two to three days.

And eventually her
body was buried.

(somber music)

Shortly after the
interview with Mr. Luker,

Robin was then interviewed

and she stated that
she did date Mr. Luker,

and that they did
have a conversation

about Carrie Jopek's death.

However, it was regarding
Carrie's body being found.

She never told him
about any information

that he stated to us.

(intense music)

- [Narrator] So why
would Thomas Luker

concoct such a damning story?

- She stated that he
twisted her words,

and that he was basically
trying to get back at her

for breaking up with him.

And that she did
not have any idea

how Carrie was killed,
and did not believe

that her brother had anything
to do with Carrie's death.

- [Narrator] Luker's
story, though compelling,

is not enough to
arrest John Mandt.

- After Robin stated
her side of the story,

there was no information
that we found

to be credible with
Luker's theory.

We had no evidence
to back that up.

Once again, the case went cold.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] It's another
dead end for investigators,

and more heartbreak for
Carrie's family and friends.

- I'm thinking why does
nobody know nothing?

How is this so hidden?

What are these people doing?

Are they looking, are
they searching still?

- She can't rest in peace

until we know who did it to her.

- To lose a child like that,
it had to be hard for Carol.

I can't even speak for
her, but me as a mom

I would just dig
and dig and dig,

like I would never let it go.

- It's difficult, but you still
continue to work on the case

and you want to be able to
come and tell that family

that you solved the case.

- So you had people who
kind of just accepted

that this was gonna
be a cold case,

but then there were those
that held onto hope.

Carrie's family and friends
felt that someday, somehow,

the truth would come out.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] The next 25 years
pass like a horrible dream

for Carrie's loved ones.

Then, early one Sunday morning,

local television producer
Will Myers gets a call

that blows the case wide open.

- I was filling in on
the overnight shift

when the phone rang.

The man on the other
end of the line said,

I want to confess to a murder.

(intense music)

And that caught my
attention right away.

We're used to getting a lot
of calls from the public.

Many people have
mental health issues

or just are looking
for attention,

but right away I knew
something more serious

was going on here.

He started by offering
a little bit of details

about his personal life,

and some time he spent in jail,

but eventually he finally
started talking about

what happened, and I began
to take him seriously.

He said in 1982, he
was with Carrie Jopek

and he buried her under
the porch in the backyard.

(intense music)

He told me that
since it happened,

Carrie has been haunting him.

It's been on his conscience
ever since he was a teenager.

(intense music)

As soon as I hung up the phone,

I called the manager
who was in charge

to explain what
had just happened,

and he told me to write a
summary of what was going on,

send it to him, and he
would call the police.

We later learned
that at the same time

that we were calling the police
to report this phone call,

they were also
hearing from his wife,

and from a crisis hotline

who he had apparently also
called around the same time.

- During that time,
we were advised of

a person from Channel 12 staff

had received a call
from a person regarding

what had happened to
Carrie Jopek in 1982,

and we learned that he knew
Carrie from the neighborhood.

(intense music)

That person was Jose Ferreira.

(intense music)

- [Narrator] 25 years
later, Jose Ferreira insists

he's the man behind the
murder of Carrie Jopek.

(intense music)

- We asked him if he would
voluntarily come down

to the police
administration building

so we can conduct an
interview with him.

- [Narrator] To their
shock, Jose agrees.

But will he confess
to authorities

what he's already
confessed to others?

(ominous music)

- Jose's demeanor was
very polite, cooperative,

but it was very obvious

that this incident
was bothering him.

What he described was he went
over to his friend's house,

and there were a bunch of kids

that had skipped out
of school that day,

and they were drinking
alcohol and smoking marijuana.

Said he walked into the kitchen,

and noticed Carrie
was next to a doorway

that led down into the basement.

(ominous music)

- He told me that he
didn't have a cigarette,

but he offered Carrie some
marijuana, which she accepted.

- He knew that the kids
all used the basement

as their make out
spot, and Jose believed

that's what he and
Carrie were gonna do.

(intense music)

- He said as he did
this, Carrie told him,

maybe this wasn't a good idea.

- [Narrator] The horror that
plays out next is unfathomable.

- I was very shocked
just to know,

know what happened.

(intense music)

(eerie music)killing

of Carrie Jopek, family
friend Jose Ferreira

has stunned everyone
by confessing to her
atrocious murder.

(intense music)

- He said as he did
this, Carrie told him

maybe this wasn't a good idea.

(suspenseful music)

- And as he said this, he
pushed her down the stairs.

(intense music)

(somber music)

(ominous music)

He felt that she'd
been knocked out

when her head hit the floor.

- [Narrator] Jose
eventually realizes

Carrie isn't knocked out.

She's dead.

(intense music)

- He said her head turned all
the way around, the wrong way.

And he said at this point,
he knew her neck was broken,

she was dead, and
this was very serious.

- [James] He
described panicking,

and the idea came into his mind

that he would bury
her in the backyard.

(intense music)

- [James] Then what?

- [Narrator] It took 33
years, but Jose Ferreira

is finally charged with
second degree murder.

- Jose seemed very remorseful.

After the interview was
done, he actually hugged me

because he felt so good to
finally get this off his chest.

It had been bothering
him for so long.

- [Narrator] After all
these years, investigators

can't fathom how Jose pulled off

this atrocious crime on his own.

- We initially thought
that both John Mandt

and Jose were involved in this,

but there was nothing
that we could prove

that John Mandt was involved.

All right, come on.

- I don't think a
parent that has a child

that dies as a result of a
homicide ever have closure,

until they know exactly what
happened to their child.

I felt good that we were
going to, after 33 years,

give this family some closure.

- I was shocked, 'cause he was
our friend all these years,

and all the sudden
out of the blue

I killed Carrie, I did it.

And then burying her.

I mean, like you'd
do to an animal!

You kill an animal
and then you bury it.

She was no animal.

She's a human being.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] After
so many painful years

waiting for justice, Jose
Ferreira's trial date

is set for January 2017.

- The day that Jose Ferreira's
trial was set to begin,

he ultimately took a plea.

Jose Ferreira was sentenced
to seven years in prison.

Some may feel that seven
years was not enough

for what happened with Carrie.

However, we lacked evidence,

and taking it to
trial was a chance

that he could be
found acquitted,

and we would ultimately end up

with no prison time
for Jose Ferreira.

(somber music)

- [Narrator] Carrie's mom finds
solace in Jose's sentence,

and remarkably
some common ground

with her daughter's killer.

- I felt sorry for him in a way.

I was hurting and so was he.

I can't hate him.

We were happy to see
he took a plea deal.

Sure it was only seven years,

but it's better than nothing.

- A lot of families that
lived in that neighborhood

when Carrie went missing and
then was later found dead

still live in that neighborhood.

It was horrific, it
impacted a lot of people,

and that's just
never gonna go away.

- [Narrator] Just like the
sweet memories of Carrie Jopek,

and the hurt of knowing
all that was lost.

- I think Carrie
would be an artist.

That she'd be singing with me,

and she would have been a
wonderful, caring person

'cause that's what she was.

- She was a good
kid, smart, talented.

She could have had a
lot of opportunities,

and she did want to
be a veterinarian.

She loved animals.

And now she can't even be
one of them to help them out.

(somber music)
But at least she can rest.

- [Narrator] For
more information